Curly Girl Method: Cruelty Free

First of all, I need to apologise for being so quiet here. I’m pretty swamped with work, I’ve just submitted book one to the copyeditor, and I’m in the middle of writing book two. So it’s all a bit mad here! Visit my author site for more info on my books.

Readers of this blog will know that I recently swapped all of my toiletries and cosmetics for cruelty free (and vegan, where possible) products. This was surprisingly easy, except for my continuous hunt for a decent CF foundation for my stupid skin. But it can leave you with less choices when you decide to take on another challenge.

I have what you might call wavy hair. It’s waist length, and has a natural curl to it that I’ve grown to love. But I haven’t been great at properly caring for my hair. I used to constantly dye and straighten the shit out of it, though I’ve stopped using heat on my hair for the past 18 months, and I only used the products I could afford, not necessarily the right ones for my hair. I’ve been told that I have fine hair, but a lot of it, so it seems thick. It tangles easily and can be a bit of a nightmare. Enter: the curly girl method.

For those of you who are new to the curly girl scene, the curly girl method (or CG method) was popularised in a book by the owner of the DevaChan hair salon in New York. I was half following the CG method anyway – since swapping to CF products, I also decided to go with mostly natural haircare, so anything that doesn’t include silicones or sulfates or other nasties. Noughty and Kind Natured are fab brands for this. One big piece of advice I’ve seen is that you have to do a final wash with a shampoo containing sulfates before commencing on the CG method. This will help cleanse your hair, and get it ready for your CG journey.

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I also stopped washing my hair every other day, instead opting for twice a week, a few months ago. This was a revolution for me. My hair used to look like utter shite by day two, a frizzy, dull mess, and I’d have to shove it up in a bun, but now (sometimes with a spritz of dry shampoo), I have no issues washing it twice a week. It takes a while to get used to, and you will have some greasy hair days, but it’s worth it. Now I wash my hair with Noughty or Kind Natured shampoo (which is referred to as “low-poo”, as it’s free of the aforementioned nasties) one day, usually at the weekend, and use the Noughty co-wash cleanser mid-week (known as “no-poo”). This co-wash is incredible, by the way. My hair feels amazingly clean afterwards. Then I always finish off with lots of conditioner, either Noughty or Kind Natured, and I also use the Superdrug own coconut hair masque once a week. Since I have wavy hair, this seems to work well for me.

Now, the second stage of the CG method: brushing. This is where I’ve been falling down. When I get out of the shower, I roughly towel-dry my hair, apply products, brush it out, then throw it up into a tight bun. I hate using heat on my hair, and I almost always wash my hair at night, so this is what I’ve been doing for a few years. But things have to change. For a start, putting hair up in a tight bun while wet can damage the hair, but it also damages my curls and encourages frizz. Instead, the CG method advises you to only comb the hair while wet (i.e. in the shower), and to apply products at the same time. I’ve bought a wide-toothed comb and will apply my leave-in conditioner while I’m in the shower.

The CG method also tells you to do a cold rinse with your hair upside down after you condition, then go ahead and comb out and apply products. I’m going to give this a bash too, though my tangle-loving hair might argue with me!

I really hate going to bed with loose hair, especially when wet (hence the bun!), but the CG method advises you to “plop”. (There are a lot of poop references in this method!) Plopping seems like a fairly straight forward way of drying your hair, and it apparently encourages curls and fights frizz. You can use a microfibre towel or a regular t-shirt to plop. Here’s a great tutorial on how to do it. I’m going to give it a go this weekend, leaving the towel on my head for the entire night. Some only plop for 20 minutes, then diffuse or air dry, but since I wash my hair at night, I’d like to leave my hair up throughout. Fingers crossed it will work!

On to products. I recently bought some argan oil, which I’ve been applying to wet and dry hair to tame frizz, and I love it. I’ve also bought another type of argan oil so I can do a deep condition once a fortnight. I’ll smother my hair in the oil, wrap it up for an hour or so, then wash it out. I use the Noughty Hello Wave curl cream and the Noughty To The Rescue serum. I’ve learned that my hair loves oils and serums. Apparently, the trick is to apply leave-in conditioner first, then oil/serum, then the curl cream (known as LOC = leave in, oil, cream), which is what I already do, and it seems to work for me. You can find more info here.

One of my biggest questions was: how do I refresh my curls? As soon as I brush my curly hair, it goes frizzy and loses definition. What to do? Recently I’ve just been brushing it out, applying some oil, and going with super loose waves, but I’m not entirely happy with the result. So, I’ve filled an old spray bottle with a big squirt my favourite moisturising conditioner, a touch of olive oil (apparently it’s a carrier oil), and water. I’ll use this to spray my hair until it’s damp, then apply LOC and air dry. I also bought the Morrocanoil Curl Re-Energizing Spray (under £18 on FeelUnique!) to help on days I don’t wash my hair.

All the products I’ve mentioned here are cruelty free, some of them vegan, and all available easily in the UK. Have you tried the curly girl method? Let me know your tips and experiences in the comments!

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